Stumbling discipleship

You have seduced me O Lord, and I have allowed myself to be seduced. Perhaps Simon, the hero of the Gospel last Sunday, took these words of Jeremiah to heart when after one of his rare triumphs, he so quickly falls from grace. It must have really been something...

Rocky Simon’s declaration of faith

The Gospel today has Jesus taking the disciples on a very unusual road trip. They walk to the very north of Israel, on the border of Lebanon and Syria to the foothills of Mount Hermon. There in the region of Caesarea Philippi – a town that was being built by...

Foreign faith

The Gospel that we are presented with today is hard to deal with (Matthew 15:21-28). We expect that when Jesus is presented with a situation of desperate need that he answer with compassion and mercy. Instead today, when he flees to the pagan northern region of Tyre...

Storms and Silence – Elijah and Peter

The audio at the start of the homily today is from the video “Elijah” by Dan Stevers. Elijah in I Kings 17-18 is presented as the dude – the great hero of the people of Israel. He is able to break a 40 month drought, beat a chariot in a 30km race,...

Grief and Grace

During the week as I was bombarded by both traditional media and social media with increasingly violent and horrific articles and images of the death and destruction in the conflicts in Gaza, Syria and Iraq, it was difficult not to feel completely overwhelmed by grief...

Pursuing Wisdom

King Solomon whose reign is normally dated from around 970/960 BCE to 930/920 BCE is best known for being extremely wise, extraordinarily wealthy and as a supremely powerful monarch. He is also described as a great lover, with the legendary harem of 700 wives and 300...

Violent darnel

Most Australians awoke on Friday morning to the devastating news of the destruction of Malaysian Flight MH17 after being shot down by rebel forces in the Ukraine with the loss of 298 lives, including 37 Australian residents and citizens and some medical professionals...

The Abundant Word

Isaiah chapter 55 begins in a very awesome and utopian way – “Come all who are thirsty, come to the water; and you that have no money – come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” This is certainly a beautiful...

A strange kind of king

Even though across its long history Israel had very little to make it stand out – one thing that is notable is the honesty with which it tells its story. So although it could never claim to be the largest, wealthiest, most powerful or most influential nation,...

Peter’s Confession of Faith

Today we honour the apostle Peter, who represents that part of the Church which gives it stability: its traditions and the structures which help to give consistency and unity to the Church, spread as it is through so many races, cultures, experiences and geographical...

Encountering the Living God

When you think about God and how God offers a relationship with him, it seems to me that the word encounter is one of the more helpful ways of describing this relationship. Yet, when you look up the word encounter, you discover that it comes into the English language...

Trinity as Community and Relationship

When it comes time to celebrate Trinity Sunday it can be tempting to settle in for another discussion on this abstract and irrelevant theological idea. Yet the readings that are offered for this Year A cycle give the clear basis for why the divine dance of love that...

Pentecost – renewing the face of the earth

When I was a kid it was uncommon for my parents to come and visit the school; in part this was because we lived on a farm and caught the bus to and from school almost every day; the exception was on Tuesdays which was mum’s shopping day and we could go home with...

The Ascension, Jesus and Heaven in Western thought

When we come to celebrate the Ascension of Jesus all manner of things can tend to get in the way. For a start, many people can overstate the literal details in the first reading today, from the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles, what with all the information of...

Longing for a new breath of life in the Holy Spirit

It can be the case that when we think about the early experience of the Church, that we compress it into a rather monochromatic history. In fact the disciples were probably more like us than we think. Even though Jesus gives them rather clear instructions that they...
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